What are some things you do to get yourself through a scene you either don't want to write because you know it's hard, or are having trouble getting through? How do you move that process along so you don't remain stuck in it forever (I'm sort of there now).
When I get stuck like this, it's usually because I'm missing a key element to move forward. I don't know my stakes, I've lost sight of my protagonist's goal, I don't know how someone else in the scene feels or what they'd do in that situation. It's central to the scene itself if not the book. Or there's something critical I need to do before that point and I've forgotten.
So I usually give myself a little time and let it simmer in my brain. My subconscious is pretty good at working these things out if I give it a chance. If I'm still stuck after a day or two, then I just sit at the desk and force myself to write something to get past it. Whatever I write is going to suck for sure, but once I start writing, the sticking point usually gives way and the story gets back on track. I'll go back after and clean it up.
Asking yourself the tough questions also helps.
- What does my protagonist want here?
- What are they trying to do?
- What's in their way?
- Why is this scene important?
- What do I want the reader to learn? To feel? To worry about?
- Why does this matter to the overall story?
I also get stuck is when I just flat out don't like the scene. It's like my subconscious is telling me "You there! Step away from the keyboard and no one gets hurt." Often I'll be going off in the wrong direction, or I've dropped the tension. I'm boring myself, so I know I'll bore the reader. The only way to fix that is to go back to where it still feels exciting and head in a new direction.
And there are the days when I just don't feel creative. This usually happens if I've been in a major writing spurt and spending a lot of time at the keyboard. I'm on the verge of burning myself out, so my muse goes on strike. Taking a few days off and reading and having fun usually works here. When I get back to writing, I usually know what to do next.
Regardless of the issue, it rarely takes more than a few days to get past it, so if after two or three days I'm still staring at the screen, I just plow through. Even if all I get done is a paragraph, it's something, and the next day I'll get another paragraph, and before long I'm back to my usual writing routine. It's hard, but as the sneakers say, you gotta just do it.
It's like any other job. There are those tasks you just hate and every time you have to do them you drag your feet. Eventually you grit your teeth and get it over with.